You Think Your Foot Problem is a Bunion – But is it Really?

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Jan 15, 2016 3:27:59 PM

question_mark_on_big_toeYou may have a painful bump on your big toe that you think is a bunion, but there are many common foot problems that people often misidentify as a bunion. Learn more in the article excerpt below to find out if you in fact do have a bunion or something else, then learn about an effective treatment option that can help.

Posted by: Neal Blitz, DPM via About Health

5 Foot Problems People Mistake for a Bunion


Most people think every problem of the big toe joint is a bunion and want bunion surgery to saw the bunion away.  It turns out there are several foot problems that look like bunions, but are not.  A bunion is a boney prominence causing an enlargement on the side of the big toe.  Bunions are not bone growths, rather they occur from a malalignment of the big toe joint causing the bone to push outwards.  Because bunions come in various sizes, it’s not always clear if the problem is a bunion.  Bunion surgery involves repositioning the out-of-place bones.  So, before you sign up for a bunionectomy, learn about what other conditions masquerade as bunions and how to treat these foot problems.  

  1. Big Toe Joint Arthritis

Arthritis of the big toe joint is the most common bunion look-alike.  One of the hallmarks of big toe joint arthritis, medically termed hallux rigidus, are bone spurs that form on joint as a result of the degenerating cartilage.  These bone spurs can be quite large and painful.  The skin overlying the bone spurs can become red and inflamed, just like a bunion.  Bone spurs with arthritis tend to occur on the top of the big toe joint, which is different than bunions where the boney prominence is on the side.  Bunions, however, can occur in conjunction with arthritis of the big toe joint and X-rays would help determine the extent of arthritis and how/if it contributes to the bunion pain.  

  1. Ganglion Cyst

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Bunions and other foot problems can be extremely painful. When the pain becomes chronic and it’s difficult to bear weight, it’s time to get treated and correct the underlying cause of many foot problems: foot misalignment. Nearly 40% of the American population suffers from misaligned feet, but many people don’t even know the problem exists.

When your heel bone slips off your ankle bone it causes an excessive inward rotation of your ankle and outward rotation of your feet and the cause of misalignment that leads to many common foot problems.

HyProCure® is a procedure that places a small titanium stent into the naturally occurring space between the ankle bone and heel to stabilize the ankle, correcting the excessive rotation, and re-aligning the feet.

This minimally invasive outpatient procedure is a great alternative to bunion surgery and other invasive foot treatments because it has an extremely high success rate, is safe for most children and adults, and allows you to be walking in your own shoes in 3 to 5 days.

If you’d like to learn more about HyProCure® treatment to help the foot problems causing you pain, contact a New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare or download the free eBook below. At Adler Footcare we believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.

Treatment for Foot Pain

Topics: foot problems, Bunion, Foot Care